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The Best Journal

Updated on January 1, 2017
Virginia Allain profile image

Virginia likes to help other writers get started online. She wrote for eHow, Squidoo, and is a blogger.

Every year, I treat myself to another one of these lovely journals. When I first started keeping a diary, way back in college, I bought really cheap ones at Woolworth's. Unfortunately those old black, fake leather bindings have started falling apart and are held together with rubber bands now.

In 1996, I discovered this diary and have stuck with it ever since. The bindings are super-sturdy and well-stitched so I expect them to last my lifetime and beyond. Some people may like an unlined page, but for me the lines keep my writing straight and even as I fill up the page.

By having the date on each page, it beckons me to write every single day. I hate to see a blank page. Sometimes when I miss a day, I return later to fill it in.

It's a tradition in my family to keep diaries and below you'll see photos of ones dating back to the Civil War and to World War I. More recently, my grandmother kept a diary and my mother did as well. These are treasures to our family, our links to the past.

My life is pretty ordinary and my opinions, my activities, my concerns aren't great literature. Perhaps writing in a journal is more about the writing than it is about the reading. I don't worry about who will read it one hundred years from now. I write it for myself.

Treat yourself to one of these and start a tradition in your family. Get them to give as gifts to your friends or family members too.

Description: The picture here doesn't do this journal justice. The covers are a rich wine red with a bit of shimmer, like a moire pattern. The lettering is gold (not yellow).

Sometimes You Don't Feel Inspired.

That's when you need a book like this. Just flip it open to any page and you find a question or a prompt that will trigger your writing. Since it has 365 journal writing ideas, you could even make it a project and work your way through day-by-day from the front to the back. You'll never be at a loss for what to write.

Family Diaries from 1865 Onward

I Come from a Family of Diary Keepers

Click thumbnail to view full-size
My diaries. They carry on a family tradition of journal keeping.I try to write every day.There's a section in the back for noting expenses.My great-great grandfather's pocket diary from 1865. Abraham Bates TowerFamily records noted in my ancestor's diary.My great-uncle's diary from World War I.  Albert ViningInside Albert Vining's pocket diary.
My diaries. They carry on a family tradition of journal keeping.
My diaries. They carry on a family tradition of journal keeping. | Source
I try to write every day.
I try to write every day.
There's a section in the back for noting expenses.
There's a section in the back for noting expenses.
My great-great grandfather's pocket diary from 1865. Abraham Bates Tower
My great-great grandfather's pocket diary from 1865. Abraham Bates Tower
Family records noted in my ancestor's diary.
Family records noted in my ancestor's diary.
My great-uncle's diary from World War I.  Albert Vining
My great-uncle's diary from World War I. Albert Vining
Inside Albert Vining's pocket diary.
Inside Albert Vining's pocket diary.

Do You Keep a Diary?

See results

My Civil War Ancestor Used His Diary to Keep the Family History Safe

Abraham Bates Tower recorded family births, deaths and marriages in his small black pocket diary.
Abraham Bates Tower recorded family births, deaths and marriages in his small black pocket diary. | Source

Tell Me about Your Journaling

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    • Virginia Allain profile imageAUTHOR

      Virginia Allain 

      3 years ago from Central Florida

      Hopefully you are saving your hamster daily postings from Facebook somewhere. They are sort of a diary.

    • Paul Ward profile image

      Paul 

      3 years ago from Liverpool, England

      I've never kept a diary - perhaps I should consider it.

    • Diane Cass profile image

      Diane Cass 

      5 years ago from New York

      I have always thought I should keep a diary, but I'm horrible at keeping up with it. I like the book with the diary ideas. I would need that kind of help. You are very fortunate to have so much first-hand history of your family.

    • gottaloveit2 profile image

      gottaloveit2 

      5 years ago

      Nice article, Virginia. I kept a diary when I was younger and might have to get back to it.

    • Virginia Allain profile imageAUTHOR

      Virginia Allain 

      5 years ago from Central Florida

      @Scarlettohairy: They do look lovely on the shelf and it gives me a feeling of continuity.

    • Scarlettohairy profile image

      Peggy Hazelwood 

      5 years ago from Desert Southwest, U.S.A.

      What a great idea for keeping a diary. I love that these all have the year on the spine to line them up on the bookshelf.

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